posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 08:25 AM
I'm adding my .02 only because 1) it's in the General forum (thank you), 2) I've run a site roughly this size & 3) because amongst the complaints
I've read, I've not seen any discussion of the fiscal & administrative realities & ramifications of them. That is, it may feel good to us to
rant & get it all out, but what is the cost to the site & the community for doing so?
Admins walk a tightrope between being accused of, or perceived as, being heavy-handed & censoring dissent on one hand, and protecting the integrity &
fiscal soundness of the operation on the other. Its a delicate balancing act to keep members happy & at the same time be cognizant & protective of
the perception all this "free speech" gives to new persons, potential advertisers & professional content providers.
For ex, I lurked here for a good 3 yrs before I registered. When I "came back" recently I was taken aback by all the complaints. My first thought
was "What the heck is going on? What happened?" And quite frankly, had I not had a long familiarity with ATS, I would have left & not come back.
First impressions are everything & being greeting by a host of complaints is not a good first impression.
ATS is not a non-profit & they don't charge for membership; so I suspect that the funds to run this site come from advertising & promotion. And no
one (except a competitor) wants to advertise on a site where members are tearing each other down &/or complaining about the site itself. It's
just not good business. Would you buy a product that had loads of bad reviews?
More "professional" or widely known content providers, don't want their work to be associated with or tainted by, lots of complaints. If you were a
Peabody winner, would you promote your work on a site with pages of complaints about the site & its members?
And on the other side, who wants to join a community like that? Imagine the great contributions we're all missing because critical thinkers are being
met with complaints & bugging out from the getgo.
I'm rambling, but my point is that dirty laundry shouldn't be aired in public (so to speak). & that we shouldn't "cut off our nose to spite our
face". ATS is a fab site, with fab & not so fab members, but we would all be the less for it were it to close down or cut back on bandwidth. I'm not
being doom & gloom here; just trying to provide a reminder that ATS supports us & all the public complaints don't go far in returning the favor.
I'm not suggesting that the complaints will just stop, nor that they necessarily should. Only that I think there may be a better way (so to speak).
Maybe ATS could consider having a "complaint board" (in this General section) & move the existing threads back here. Or even rename this board to
"Feedback & Questions" & move them to this board. And/but I would further reco that these threads not ever make it to the front page. If
members want to complain, they can do it back here in one place where the people with the authority to address it can find it quickly. (No censorship
or dissent quashing required.) Likewise, if someone wants to read complaints they can still do so. But new members, media pros & advertisers won't be
blindsided by the negativity on entry to the site.
MHO of course & shutting up now .. time to hit the rack ;-)